Several people facing charges for New York murders of gay men

The candlelight vigil held for Julio Ramirez. Image: @yamzworld via Twitter

Several people are facing charges in connection with murders and robberies that appear to have targeted New York’s gay community. 

John Umberger, 33, and Julio Ramirez, 25, were killed after they left gay bars in Hell’s Kitchen.

The New York Times reported that their causes of death were ruled murders committed in the course of “drug-facilitated theft.”

After they died, the families of both men discovered that significant amounts of money had been stolen from their bank accounts.

It is believed the perpetrators had unlocked their phones using facial recognition.

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According to NBC News, at least four people have been arrested, according to two law enforcement sources.

The officials added that police believe the victims were targeted for financial gain and not because of their sexual orientation.

However, the New York City Police Department’s Hate Crime Task Force is assisting in the investigation.

John Umberger and Julio Ramirez. Images: Facebook

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The New York Times has interviewed more than a dozen other men who said they had been drugged and robbed at bars in Hell’s Kitchen, Chelsea and the East Village since 2020.

The men believed they had been incapacitated with GHB or another ‘date rape’ drug.

The men also said they had been reluctant to file reports, or had done so and been treated dismissively by the police.

Investigators initially told the families of Mr. Ramirez and Mr. Umberger that they viewed their deaths as accidental overdoses.

Both families had to campaign investigators to reclassify the deaths as homicides.

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Sarah Davison
Sarah Davison

After working in print and radio, Sarah has joined the team at QNews to expand their coverage into South Australia. Sarah has a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology, and a Masters in Journalism, Media, and Communications. Get in touch:

QNews, Brisbane Gay, App, Gay App, LGBTI, LGBTI News, Gay Australia

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